Sunday, November 17, 2013

Broncos (Elway) #7 Keys to Chiefs Game Tonight

Keys to coming out a victor tonight versus the +Kansas City Chiefs as the +Denver Broncos host them in a battle for supremacy in the tough AFC West and having the best records in the AFC and not only the division. +NFL rescheduled this game for primetime tonight and as they should have. Chiefs have been remarkable starting off and remaining unbeaten on their way to a 9-0 record. The Broncos, many labeled as the favorites to get to and win the Super Bowl have been equally impressive with 8-1 start and setting offensive records in all of the NFL's storied past going back nearly a century for a handful of teams and man more over the last half-century. Broncos have 4 players with 9 TD's. 9 TD's is 3rd in the NFL for TD's scored. Having 4 players with that many is a great example of how explosive the offense has been this season. The storyline of the game goes without saying, the Chiefs have the leagues #1 ranked defense and lead the league in sacks,

  1. First and foremost is always the takeaway battle. It remains the most telling stat as an indication of who is the victor in football games. Not only in the NFL (professional ranks) but all the way down to high school football. (Some would even argue down to "pee-wee" ranks). The Chiefs lead the league in takeaways with 23 (12 INT's, 11 FR) and the Broncos are tied for 4th worst in giveaways with 18 (6 INT's, 12 FL). Broncos are tied for 12th in takeaways, although they lead the league with 13 interceptions with 3 other teams with them, they only have 3 FR. Chiefs offense lead the league with only 8 giveaways (4 FL and 4 INT's). As many have pointed out the Chiefs have played some offenses with 2nd and 3rd string QB's and teams that tend to turnover the ball.
  2. Running Game: The Chiefs have one of the NFL's most dynamic players, with their RB, Jamaal Charles who also leads the team in receptions. Chiefs do everything they can to get him in open space. Charles is 5th in the league with 725 yards at 4.3 yards per tote. Despite Charles, the Chiefs are 15th in rushing offense with 1,071 yards total rushing (4.2 yard/attempt). Broncos feature the 5th ranked run defense at 783 yards allowed and the 2nd best defense in yards allowed per carry (3.4). Broncos prolific offense centered around their pass game, feature a rushing attack that is 21st with 947 yards and 3.7 yards/attempt. Chiefs defense is 24th in the NFL at stopping the run. In fact the Broncos leading rusher, Knowshon Moreno, has had two 100 yard rushing games and they were both against the Chiefs last year. Knowshon has ran for 521 yards with a 4.2 yard/attempt average. This will be a major factor as the Chiefs hope to stay on the field and put long drives together as the Broncos offense stays on the sideline. If Moreno can have success for the Broncos running the ball, it will minimize the aggressiveness of the Chiefs pass rush with their focus adjusted to slowing Moreno and the Broncos RB's down. Both of the mentioned RB's are exceptional at catching the ball out of the backfield and Manning uses Moreno often to mitigate pass rushers by getting the ball out to Moreno's dependable hands. Moreno has 37 receptions for 336 yards. Charles has 47 receptions for 389 yards. Moreno has 9 TD's and Charles has 6 TD's.
  3. Pass protection: Goes both ways but this if geared towards the Broncos, and Peyton Manning who decides the checks/audibles at the line for protection. It is not necessarily sacks, but hurries that force Manning to throw an unusual incompletion (averaging 70% completion rate which astounding. Moreno plays a key role in this scheme being one of the best pass protection tailbacks in the NFL.Limit the rush of the Chiefs on the QB. The Chiefs have only gotten two sacks per game over their last 3 games while the Broncos have average 3 sacks per game over their last 3 games. Broncos pressure on the Chiefs QB, Alex Smith will make it very difficult for the Chiefs to put consistent drives and first downs together if their run defense hold up to their usual performance.
  4. Field position: The Chiefs rank number 1 in defense as mentioned. The Broncos are number 1 in offense which does not limit the Broncos if starting with a long field to go for a score. The Chiefs rank 8th in total offense (yards) but 28th in passing, 15th in Rushing. If the Broncos 5th ranked run defense holds up well,, the Chiefs with a long field could have trouble turning those deep field position starting spots into points. #Colquitt brothers. Both teams have punter's that are brothers.
  5. 3rd Down Efficiency: Both sides of the ball. Converting on 3rd Downs and stopping the Chiefs on 3rd Downs. It could be a major statistic for both defenses, but the Broncos especially because of the ball control short passing focused offense, they end up in 3rd downs more often. Getting them off the field and their defense back out would be a major asset for the Broncos. Cheifs vaunted defense allows on average 26% 3rd Down conversion rate as well as 3.4 first downs from 3rd downs. Broncos allow 38% 3rd Down conversion rate and 5.4 first downs from 3rd downs on defense. Broncos offense is converting 50% of their 3rd Down despite averaging only 12.1 3rd downs a game with that prolific offense. They rarely have 3rd downs because they convert beforehand. Chiefs convert 36% of their third downs and have 15 per game on average this season
  6. Force FG's over TD's/Score TD's over FG's: Pretty self explanatory and really the main key on defense for the Broncos with their offense on the other side. Forcing FG's instead of allowing TD's is big. Teams are almost forced to going for it on 4th down if the Broncos offense is scoring which is normally beneficial as teams can come away with zero points even.
  7. Penalties: Broncos committed zero penalties on offense last week and if they can repeat so they do not face long yardage with set of downs. If the Chiefs commit false starts or anything to put their offense in a longer than usual set of first downs.